AuthorTopic: GR#027 - F. Nietzsche gazes into you - Portrait  (Read 14491 times)

Offline Helm

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GR#027 - F. Nietzsche gazes into you - Portrait

on: June 27, 2010, 11:43:40 am



Sketch:



Steps:












I couldn't ink it so I pixelled it!

Offline Chris2balls

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Re: F. Nietzsche gazes into you

Reply #1 on: June 27, 2010, 02:21:06 pm
I think the hand could've been quite powerful if it were incorporated in the piece, but sidetrack the attention from the face. I'll give it a try:
« Last Edit: June 27, 2010, 02:50:24 pm by Chris2balls »
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Offline Helm

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Re: F. Nietzsche gazes into you

Reply #2 on: June 27, 2010, 02:52:41 pm
The hand was holding a paintbrush, not twirling the mustache, and that it wasn't easy to see was one of the reasons I didn't keep it in the composition.

Offline st0ven

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Re: F. Nietzsche gazes into you

Reply #3 on: June 27, 2010, 03:41:00 pm
really lovely! im really liking the grey value steps inbetween as well. I was most curious why you hit the places that you did with those vibrant icy/blue - cyan higlights? does it flatten the edges a little bit? i know otherwise (its quite obvious) that it gives a good balance of that color throughout rather than being completely separated by head and shirt as being two different hue groups. I happen to agree with chris about the hand. even if the paintbrush was too small to illustrate well, i think the hand gesture is strong enough to include it to complete your composition as it was in the sketch. Im really glad you didnt have to put it on a transparent background :D

Offline Tuna Unleashed

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Re: F. Nietzsche gazes into you

Reply #4 on: June 27, 2010, 03:55:49 pm
this is completely fantastic but i just want to say that i am in favour of any and all mustache twirling

Offline Chris2balls

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Re: F. Nietzsche gazes into you

Reply #5 on: June 27, 2010, 06:22:02 pm
The hand was holding a paintbrush, not twirling the mustache, and that it wasn't easy to see was one of the reasons I didn't keep it in the composition.
I saw that while editing, but I quite liked the idea, though it maybe be perceived as humorous, I find it creates some tension in the piece.
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Offline Conzeit

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Re: F. Nietzsche gazes into you

Reply #6 on: June 27, 2010, 06:50:35 pm
 ??? wow I really didnt expect that...I really liked the big curvy white highlights...that you broke up in your red version. mind if I make another version?

Offline Helm

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Re: F. Nietzsche gazes into you

Reply #7 on: June 27, 2010, 08:55:42 pm
st0ven, I'm not sure why my brain thought 'oh, I should have a secondary light-source in this!' at some point, but it seems to have worked out pretty well, heh.

Conceit, go for it.

Offline ErekT

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Re: F. Nietzsche gazes into you

Reply #8 on: June 27, 2010, 10:45:51 pm
I love the facet-like shading and the colours you've used. Terrific stuff :y: One thing I do like better about the sketch is the neurotic look in his eyes that I feel doesn't come through quite as well in the pixelled version. Having a fetish for editing I tried my hand at a small edit to illustrate what I mean by giving the eyes more of a diamond-shape and darkening the right eye a bit  :D



Offline Mathias

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Re: F. Nietzsche gazes into you

Reply #9 on: June 28, 2010, 12:31:32 am
I love the polygon stylizing, too.
Helm, your works like this one make me want to categorize them as modern pixel art. Your usage of the pixel definitely departs from the "retro" hayday of pixel art, and even most pixel works from today. Feels evolved, though not arbitrarily superior to pixel art that doesn't share it's artistic approach. This type of thing is like pop pixel art - the solid red hair, the vertical line dithered jacket, etc, all come together to present us with a fun-to-look-at sophisticated polish evidently the end-result of a profound comfort with the medium plus much experienced experimentation.

And you did the subtle gamma pulsing thing again. It worked really well for the undead girl, but I'm not sure about it here. It occurs to me that it's easily a cheap trick to enhance visual interest, but without relevance to the subject matter, therefore running the risk of only distracting. If given the choice, I'd still keep it actually. It's still unique feeling.

Love the pose and stare too, btw. Very characterful. Great sketch to work off of, it doesn't look like digital drawing.



Chris2balls, good idea but I'm not sure complicating the composition is worth it. Perhaps if your hand had even less contrast perhaps? - it would impact the focus less, sucking away less attention. I'd suggest pointing the pinky finger out like people do when they're fiddling with something using their index finger and thumb (imagine someone sipping from a wine glass, what the pinky does). It'll give it that mandatory Dr. Evil vibe!

Erekt, I prefer Helm's original over your edit. Good effort, but lessening the far eye seems to purport to fake diminishing perspective without fully achieving it correctly, failing. Plus, the altered anatomy seems unnatural - far eye being physically smaller than closer eye; He wasn't that mutated looking!
« Last Edit: June 28, 2010, 04:26:07 am by Mathias »

Offline Moribund

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Re: F. Nietzsche gazes into you

Reply #10 on: June 28, 2010, 04:17:43 am
Helm, your works like this one make me want to categorize them as modern pixel art. Your usage of the pixel definitely departs from the "retro" hayday of pixel art, and even most pixel works from today. Feels evolved, though not arbitrarily superior to pixel art that doesn't share it's artistic approach. This type of thing is like pop pixel art - the solid red hair, the vertical line dithered jacket, etc, all come together to present us with a fun-to-look-at sophisticated polish evidently the end-result of a profound comfort with the medium plus much experienced experimentation.

I have no useful criticism, but I'm definitely inclined to agree here. I see some pixel art here, and I'm like "WOW, that looks so lifelike, and in only 3 pixels too" but then I see some of your art, and I'm feeling it is communicating a statement as well as an image.

Offline 7321551

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Re: F. Nietzsche gazes into you

Reply #11 on: June 28, 2010, 06:56:39 am
Nice.
I don't think the skin technique completely works. Some of the regions seem independent of the surface shape, & reduce depth, especially at x2 or greater.

The top circle, especially—I cannot not see them as little shapes projecting from his head.

Offline Rydin

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Re: F. Nietzsche gazes into you

Reply #12 on: June 28, 2010, 07:54:08 am
The profound black outline around his iris in the line art is gone in the pixel version.  Both are weird for eyes.  Why so flat?
Man cannot remake himself without suffering for he is both the marble and the sculptor.

Offline Helm

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Re: F. Nietzsche gazes into you

Reply #13 on: June 28, 2010, 08:50:33 am
I thought there was no space to outline the eye at this res I though I'd rely on contrast between white and the skin tones to convey the conviction instead :/

7321551 on the top circle I agree that's a badly formed pixel cluster. I don't agree on the lower one, but yes, good catch.

The thing with this sort of work is that all the pixel clusters are interacting with each other on their countours and boundries. I am actually using the banding from where different slices line up to convey... something, I'm not sure what... a sense of broken-glass fragmentation, a sense of unreality? Anyway, it appeals to me. But if I want to change a pixel cluster later, I might have to change 5-6 clusters around it again to get the perfect angles and line-ups going. So in the edit below I chose to remove the offending cluster completely instead of trying to make it fit a proper platonic triangle shape and still line up.

I also changed another cluster that was bothering me and removed the shadow under the nose, which wasn't working as well as I thought it would originally, really.



Mathias and Moribund: I am very bad at taking compliments, heh. What you're describing about technique serving a statement or emotional communication is the goal I'm trying for with my art so I am happy that it works at least for some people. I don't know about 'modern pixel art' though, I guess phenomenologically something like that might occur but it's not within my objectives to mirror modernism or anything else, what I do just feels right to me.

Offline Chris2balls

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Re: F. Nietzsche gazes into you

Reply #14 on: June 28, 2010, 09:35:34 am
I hear you Mathias, I was aware of that issue... but I want to find a way round it, so here's my last stab:

Maybe this changes the feel of the picture too much, up to you Helm.

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Offline Mathias

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Re: F. Nietzsche gazes into you

Reply #15 on: June 28, 2010, 02:55:03 pm
Compliments continue to be awkward for you eh. I don't see why, but then again I can remember having a former reluctance at accepting compliments, myself. I think after a while I just learned to just smile and say thanks, though.
Here's what I've come to think: The truth is that the average person usually can't even describe why they like a particular piece of art, it just "looks cool" so they dig it. It's safe to say most compliment-givers don't comprehend the full breadth of an artwork's meaning and purpose but they may still think it's good, so they compliment you. When I was younger (I'm 28 now) I made it a point to regularly share my work with others/friends, etc, showing things off for fun/feedback. But invariably, my viewers didn't understand anything enough to be able to have real appreciation, and my explanation often just bored them. My zeal was almost always unreciprocated. This led to my attitude towards showing "laymen" my work changing. Now, I'm rather reluctant to share and rarely explain anything. 'What's the point', I figure. So, too, with compliments, I take them with a grain of salt - they're almost always issued from an uninformed mind, or one not interested enough in what I do for their opinion to truly matter/mean something to me. Not that they're stupid and/or my work is some brilliant genius crap (it's not), they just don't "get it", so their compliments are just words, basic appreciation for the face value of what they see. I smile and say thanks, that's about it. I do appreciate compliments, but they usually don't hold much weight.
Furthermore, when I tell someone they did a good job on something and they try to duck the compliment by saying something like, "Oh whatever, that sucked!, or "Eh yeah, it could've been much better", etc, it's kind of annoying! I want them to just take the stinkin' compliment and move on,,,, geeze. Helm, you're not quite that way, I'm just relating my feelings on those that are that way.
And phenomenological . . . looked it up, that's a great word to use in analyzing art, thanks for the new word.

People like your work. They express appreciation for what they like. They may or may not fully understand it. Hopefully, us around here understand work posted to this site better than laymen. Surely we do, we at least partially understand what it takes to create a pixel artwork.



Chris, yep I was sure you already realized that/nothing new to you, just givin' feedback. Your latest attempt is a little better, but comes off to me as an overuse of the vert line dither fill. No pinky extension!? WHATCOMEON65678^
« Last Edit: June 28, 2010, 04:22:00 pm by Mathias »

Offline Helm

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Re: F. Nietzsche gazes into you

Reply #16 on: June 28, 2010, 03:27:44 pm
My problem with compliments isn't because I think people don't 'get my art', actually I think whatever people do get from my art is as valid as anything I had in mind while making it, generally I don't make a big fuss over communicating intention. Like, I don't think of a piece as a failure if viewers interpret it differently than what I had in mind while making it (and of course that's a pretty vague notion some of the time to begin with). I guess I'm kind of shocked the few times where something I've made was interpreted *in reverse* as to what I was going for (bizarro world like someone reading Marx and saying 'that dude is a fascist!!!!!'... it happens) but even that isn't failure for me. Failure is when I show something I've made and the viewer has no emotional or intellectual response to it at all. Foremost I feel successful when I make some piece of art and the viewer feels compelled to look at it for more than 2.5 seconds and think on why it is like it is and what it makes them feel. It's validating to help someone break out of 'consumption mode' and into 'reflection mode' even if it's very brief. As the modern world moves towards an information overload, such moments will be all the more precious.

My issue with compliments is stupid. On one hand I feel undeserving of compliments for various reasons (pretty common in artists, I've found). I don't thrive on getting any type of attention personally, that's just not why I make art. On the other hand I am inordinately suspicious of public compliment givers (especially gushing ones) because I tend to think they're trying to achieve something, socially, by doing what they're doing. I realize intellectually that a) I'm probably wrong and b) even if they might be social achievers, that doesn't mutually exclude the possibility of them having a real affinity for my art. But that's a difficult thing to internalize, emotionally. I am more relaxed when someone tells me 'good job' in private, and yeah, not to sound like a social retard but it took me a long while to realize that "thank you" + smile in real life are all the tools I need to get through this particular issue of mine. Back 5 years someone would tell me "I like this thing you made" and I'd be all "yeah? I don't believe you."  :'(

Offline Mathias

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Re: F. Nietzsche gazes into you

Reply #17 on: June 28, 2010, 07:13:09 pm
Humility is a beautiful trait. Or maybe better said, pride/arrogance is pretty ugly, and makes communication with those prideful difficult and irritating. You're a humble guy. All artists need humility. If an artist is arrogant, I resent him the better his work is, hehe!
For me, I no longer care if others appreciate my art. If I like it, I feel great. If I don't . . . well I'm not surprised. I'm a pretty harsh critic when it comes to things I've done. Good on one hand - I impel myself to always do better so I can get a better score when the piece is done (one of my biggest driving forces has always been to discover the extents of my abilities, I want to know what I can so, and couple that with a belief I've had since childhood - with some practice I can accomplish any artistic goal). And conversely I take very little joy from making things anymore, since upon completion I typically take a step back and think, 'eh yeah, that's . . . nice I guess'. There's very little payoff!

Having said that, I do still enjoy another's expressed approval of something I've done. Never ceases to feel good. We never seem to lose that childish longing for peer approval do we? At least on some level, right? Reluctant to admit it, but it's there.

I know that the approval of others can be powerful. In the eyes of others. Popularity alone, sells things. Mainstream gets the dollars.
I'm married, a few times I've noticed my wife's usual apathy towards my creations cured simply by some random person expressing interest in a work of mine. In these examples, her opinion turned because she realized that other people assigned value to art. Her appreciation was reactively increased, in effect. Not sure what to think of that, hehe. She's generally awesome btw, she just has no love of creativity.

Offline Helm

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Re: F. Nietzsche gazes into you

Reply #18 on: June 28, 2010, 09:54:46 pm
I don't know about humility, I mean, I'm not a very humble person. In that I don't lie down for other people and especially I do not allow their worldview to dominate mine. I hold my own art to some esteem as viewed by myself if that makes sense. I just don't expect other people to agree with me often because let's face it, most of the stuff I draw is weird. If anything I am terribly suspicious of overtly humble people that are also awesome artists.. seems like a social grace to me. But helm why would you begrudge anyone for having social graces you might ask. I don't know, I guess it's the symptom of any introvert nerd, that they expect other people to be as socially impaired and not-gaming as they think they are themselves.

So it's strange, I don't think my art is worthless (quite the opposite) but I think what's it worth it is worth mostly to me. I don't know how healthy that is, but it explains why I am kinda resistant to both compliments and fundamental critique.

Offline st0ven

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Re: F. Nietzsche gazes into you

Reply #19 on: June 28, 2010, 10:11:46 pm
Im not sure he means humble in the same way you are at least describing it though. humility could connote at least a hint of respect or restraint. respect of whats already been achieved, and knowing where you realistically fit in that much larger perspective rather than that limited scope that a fanboy might percieve the gap between him and you. One doesnt need to be subservient in order to achieve humility. Holding your work to your own standards rather than seeking to constantly measure against those of your peers seems to be a quality that truly passionate artists hold, and perhaps in that respect you hold humility to yourself. Accepting a compliment can be hard in this respect because the perception of the viewer basing said compliment might be from a completely different viewpoint of that of your own, and becomes a subjective matter that would be hard to internalize.

I can very much relate to your self assessment of your own art being 'weird' or not mainstream (i think a lot of artists can), though admittedly most of the things i pixel i shoot to be mainstream, but its that unique perspective that you as an individual have and how you render and interpret the world around you and the thoughts within you that make you interesting as an artist.

 mathias: i would encourage you to keep showing people stuff - challenge them even if the majority of them deflect it and complement out of sheer social courtesy. though maybe it would be more fun to do that if your subject matter shifted to something more provocative and less comfortable for people to casually view (heh).
« Last Edit: June 28, 2010, 10:20:18 pm by st0ven »

Offline Alonso

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Re: F. Nietzsche gazes into you

Reply #20 on: June 28, 2010, 10:33:12 pm
I don't think I have much to add to what's been said, except that--talking about Nietszche--, Heidegger once wrote an essay called "The origin of the work of art". Not only does it explain what he thinks art is, and how it uses the artist rather than the other way around, he also questions and tries to understand the "is" of this last sentence. Apparently, an artist's (should he choose to call himself that) art is much more interesting when he's read non-cartesian philosophy (that is, Plato, Kant and Heidegger). The only thing I think I can suggest is that philosophy thinks being (the verb+noun). Art, on the other equally-valuable hand, feels it.

Not that it is respectively so in this case, but Tarkovsky suggested symbolism as a complex formula that can be intellectually split apart (first thought, then felt) while metaphors, however, are first to be felt and then thought. In this sense, philosophy and art are both a combination of each other and need each other to bear meaning about themselves, but philosophy analogically leans towards intellectualism whilst art does to emotion. Here's a quote from an interview of his:

"We can express our feelings regarding the world around us either by poetic or by descriptive means. I prefer to express myself metaphorically. Let me stress: metaphorically, not symbolically. A symbol contains within itself a definite meaning, certain intellectual formula, while metaphor is an image. An image possessing the same distinguishing features as the world it represents. An image — as opposed to a symbol — is indefinite in meaning. One cannot speak of the infinite world by applying tools that are definite and finite. We can analyse the formula that constitutes a symbol, while metaphor is a being-within-itself, it's a monomial. It falls apart at any attempt of touching it."

(http://people.ucalgary.ca/~tstronds/nostalghia.com/TheTopics/Symbols.html)

What is more important, it would seem as though art finds us and invades our vision; art could be a landscape, or the stars, or Bach's music. But once we're moved by these things, we cannot escape them, and they will force themselves upon us every time we create something we call artistic. Sorry for dragging the subject away from your piece, Helm. I very much digress all the time. Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Offline Ryumaru

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Re: F. Nietzsche gazes into you

Reply #21 on: June 28, 2010, 10:39:11 pm
helm: I doubt by now that many people here believe gain something socially by complimenting your work. We know in this forum that the entire point is for us to give feedback on others work- if anything we might receive someone's visit to our thread to give us their feedback- but nothing in the way of social status which it sounds like you mean.

Anyways, this piece doesn't particularly appeal to me. You've lost a lot of what made the sketch awesome- the contrast, the really strong planes( you fragmented them too much in the pixel piece). It seems to me you've become so comfortable with choosing palettes and the like that you're only focusing on pixel clusters- when it's the gestalt that really matters.

I know I've butchered your subtlety and pixel clusters here, but to me this image is much more powerful without it( the subtlety, pixel clusters are nice)

You nailed the planes and lighting in the drawing, but you just failed to transfer it.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2010, 11:00:25 pm by Ryumaru »

Offline Mathias

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Re: F. Nietzsche gazes into you

Reply #22 on: June 29, 2010, 12:08:22 am
You can have a strong, assertive, opinionated personality while still being humble. St0ven's bit about knowing where/how you fit in is a nice way to say it. I hate to keep rambling about psychiatry here so to be succinct and avoid too much online forumpostmortemboredom© - I think you're humble enough because you don't behave like some king diety of pixel art, when other individuals with your skills might make the mistake of doing. Instead you're content with honing and developing your craft for your own pursuits, not lording over others throwing your weight around, etc. I'm only acquainted with you in the pixel art sphere, so I only know one facet of your existence. If I knew you in-person, who knows, we might tangle. haha j/k


Alonso, some great thoughts there, thanks for fencepostmorteming©!


Ryu, yikes that edit. Looks like ol' Neitzche took a few steps back in the WIP. Contrast too harshish. But I too wish the strung-out vibe captured in the sketch was better intact in the pixel. Perhaps Chris's hand could assist. Helm's tall-pixel 'plotting' piece uses body language in the hands to express a certain state of mind. Though, I doubt any hands would fit in. This is such a classic bust portrait. Hands are normally not pictured.

Offline Ryumaru

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Re: F. Nietzsche gazes into you

Reply #23 on: June 29, 2010, 12:31:37 am
I wouldn't have used that pure white for the highlights, but when i opened the document in photoshop I couldn't edit the palette. point is that all the playing of hues and pixel clusters in the face has overshadowed the form of the head.

Offline Cure

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Re: F. Nietzsche gazes into you

Reply #24 on: June 29, 2010, 04:10:07 am

I don't think the hand works either, I haven't seen an edit yet where I didn't find it distracting. Even if ryu's edit is a bit strong, I think he makes a good point.

Offline Helm

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Re: F. Nietzsche gazes into you

Reply #25 on: June 29, 2010, 08:42:12 am
Alonso: I tend to the position that 'thinking/feeling' dualism is a mistake in philosophical thinking. I mean, it's not a mistake because if taken as a presupposition, it leads to very interesting thoughts and that's never a mistake. I certainly have benefitted by supposing this in my thinking as well, but now I think I benefit more from a more holistic view of the span of sentient activity of the human. I think what often is called 'intellectual' is very emotional, to me, and that there is no clear priority (either to be pursued, or to be experienced) between thinking and feeling emotions. To ponder on something for me is an intellectual process as well. I realize it seems when it happens to one to be accessing 'different parts of the brain' as it were but it was startling to me when I approached it phenomenologically and realized that when I am pondering on a thing very directly, and when I am experiencing an emotional stimulus, what my body does is very similar. The classicist approach tends to say 'when emotional, one acts. When intellectual, one doesn't act, instead stands and thinks'. Well, I don't see how to 'stand and think' doesn't constitute an action, and how it is not emotionally charged to begin with.

When I am faced with an intellectual challenge, I respond to it with much the same emotions that a child would respond to an offer to go outside and play football with his friends.

On symbolism/metaphor, yes I see why the distinction would be made by Tarkovsky in that historically, symbolism has a 'this stands in for that' structured language. A human skull represents mortality, a woman in the darkness represents temptation, so on. Whereas a metaphor requests one be a bit more proactive in interpretation, but really, not too much. I don't think it's such a useful distinction for the working artist because really the working artist should go on working and not worry on whether his metaphors are really hard symbols or vice versa. It's not like either approach will arrive at a more comprehensible work of art (from my experience at least). Even if you write a legend in the beginning of your artwork 'this stands in for that', you know? People will still interpret it very wildly.


Thank you for the interesting thoughts, by the way.

Ryu and Cure, that is a valid approach to retaining the high contrast of the original sketch, but it's not something I thought of as a priority in capturing, I instead focused more on nuance and multi-level rendering. The why of the thing is pretty strange... I like the pencil art version but at the same time I am wary of portraying someone like F. Nietzsche in a 'cartoony' and simplified light. This is the main reason - I now realize - for most of the changes, how the arm is missing, how the eyes were played down a bit, how the rendering became a bit less dramatic. I don't want to portray the man as too much of a psychopath (or strung out, as mentioned) so I am more pleased with the pixel version than the pencil version in this respect.

Offline Alonso

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Re: F. Nietzsche gazes into you

Reply #26 on: June 29, 2010, 09:35:19 am
I think I agree with most of what you say (except for the part about the unworrying, working artist). I apparently lost myself in Heidegger's/Tarkovsky's argument, but yes, at least the former explains adamantly that dualism is quite indeed monoism entire (cartesian atomism vs greek holism--I could elaborate more on this, if you want me to); religion and science tend to think manichaeistically, and both are inherently wrong in its fundamentalism (god is religion's mistake; metaphysics is science's). I suppose I most find meaning in dialectic phenomenalism, and this is what gives us the freedom to look into our being-in-the-world and try to find out who we are (which is intrinsically an unknowable and meaningless pursuit). The question on being is for ourselves, but scarcely made throughout our being-here. I feel immediately pretentious by writing this, but let's pretend I'm doing it as honestly as I am able. I have not stated that I am a thinker or an artist, whether I am one or not. So much meaning has been taken from those original words. When said, so much is left unsaid, and this oversight (which is what the word truly means) goes by absolutely unnoticed.
 
I'm sorry to have made you write all that last and this be my reply. I'm glad to have exchanged points of view.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2010, 09:42:40 am by Alonso »

Offline Helm

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Re: F. Nietzsche gazes into you

Reply #27 on: June 29, 2010, 11:19:26 am
Well I think a thread about a portrait of Nietzsche is the most fitting place for such a discussion in Pixelation. I appreciate the dialogue as well.

I'd like to clarify that the working artist is never unworrying, I think they couldn't help but be worrying. But they should be doing most of the worrying in other times than when working, at least. I mean this to say that generally speaking, I tend to think about aesthetics and philosophy of my art when I'm not engaged in making it. When I am actually engaged in making art I try to not worry about the philosophical undercurrent of my every brush stroke. Otherwise I'd make very few of them. When I'm done with something that pleases me and I look at it at its telos, then I have a discussion with a teleological version of myself through it and there is much instruction from the beyond to be gathered from that. But while I'm making something, I don't care if it's symbolic of metaphorical very much.

I realize that this is not in disagreement with anything Tarkovsky might have said on the subject specifically, as from nowhere in your quote of him is there a mention that the artist-should-worry-about-symbolism-while-making-art, but it's just an aside I'd like to bring to light because I see a lot of active minds worry too much about what will happen when they will eventually sit down and make art, and they tend to very rarely do it at all because of this.

I don't know how the outside world looks at my artwork, I don't know if they feel impressed by the craftsmanship or if the message interests them. While I am making my art I am almost always fundamentally unimpressed by what I am doing, it looks plain and below-par, during creation. If I start thinking about what my peers make instead, all their art looks much more accomplished and strong than mine. I try not to think about these things while I work, I try to draw in solipsist mode, as if I am the only artist in the world and this - thoroughly unimpressive - piece of art I am making is the only piece of art to be made. And through this I struggle and when I am done with the piece it no longer looks as unimpressive and plain, because it is finished and there is an awe in finality for the human because telos is death also. Even if the brush work is plain and the piece is under-worked and I can see a parallel universe version of myself doing a better job of it, a finished piece communicates strongly to me because it is finished, because its story has terminated and there is space for reflection and interpretation at the end.

I think that's pretty much why I even make art, just so I can look/listen when it's finished and it can tell me things from beyond.

I know this sounds silly when talking about a small pixel portrait of F. Nietzsche that took 5 hours to draw, but that's what I get from it and even from stupider stuff like little video-game sprites I've drawn. When they're finished, they talk to me and what they say is usually heartening and hopeful.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2010, 11:22:26 am by Helm »

Offline Chris2balls

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Re: F. Nietzsche gazes into you

Reply #28 on: June 29, 2010, 04:41:33 pm
I was wondering why you posted your finished work on Pixeljoint and created a thread here, I appreciate your going deeper into the hows and whys of your pieces. The exchange of point of views was an interesting insight for me, and it really is the type of thing I look for when browsing art threads. Thank you, I'll be looking forward to more of these type of discussions, and as much as I'd like to participate, I do not have the knowledge to do so. I'll content myself to reading and documenting myself on the terms and theories used!
(sorry if I sound pompous just saying this but I feel it needs to be expressed, as I really do want to encourage these type of discussions)
« Last Edit: June 29, 2010, 04:45:51 pm by Chris2balls »
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Offline Mathias

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Re: F. Nietzsche gazes into you

Reply #29 on: June 29, 2010, 08:15:13 pm
What exactly is this "beyond" you speak of? Obviously, you're being poetic, but really how would you explain what you're referring to there?


Finality is great. But with pixel art, I only feel like I'm done once I've forgotten about all the AA clean-up I still want to do. You can virtually refine your AA forever with pixel art, I feel. This portrait you've done here for instance, I could improve it's AA in some places. As could you I'm sure. "Done" is a sacred word to me. Few things better in daily life than completing a piece you've worked long hours on. So hard to pronounce pixel art as done though, when you look at it and keep spotting a crappy cluster or bad group of AA every time.

Offline Helm

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Re: F. Nietzsche gazes into you

Reply #30 on: June 29, 2010, 08:35:34 pm
I'm good at not giving a shit about this or that bad cluster or unrefined AA if it's like, 1% of the piece. I've learned to do that just so I can carry along.

The beyond: if this life is one of no certainties, of endless struggle for no clear goal, of ambiguity, of unresolved tension, of things left perpetually hanging, then beyond this life must fly a hope of truth, of certainty, of resolution, of closure. Looking at my own finished art lets me discuss with an imaginary representation of an ended helm and he has much to say, not all beautiful but all needed. A piece of art exists in a way that I do not because I constantly change. But the birth I gave is still: it may tell me new things at different times in my life but it'll forever remain the same in essence. It's useful to have these static points to anchor oneself with sometimes.

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Re: F. Nietzsche gazes into you

Reply #31 on: June 29, 2010, 08:50:08 pm
Super Anal German Nitpick Action:

Is the flickering on and off of the top most curl of hair intentional. I DON'T THINK SO!
There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.